Let me begin my story by bragging about quitting smoking on March 27th of this year. No matter what happens, I am proud to say that I am an ex-smoker. It is somewhat ironic that, two months after I quit smoking, my journey with cancer began but perhaps the 43 years of smoking plays into that. I'm not a doctor so I can only speculate. So Saturday May 19th I began coughing up blood. Of course my lovely wife felt that this was a symptom that needed immediate attention. After about three hours in the ER, it was determined that there was some type of growth on my right lung and we were given the name of a doctor that we could contact on Monday. NOTE: I would just like to point out that, putting aside all the debate about Health Insurance, my experience at the ER was nothing short of spectacular! In three hours blood tests were performed, x-rays and CT Scans taken and a preliminary diagnosis was given. God Bless America!!!!! The following Tuesday, I had an appointment and the doctor was very "concerned" about the 3 centimeter growth on my lung. By the way, it was right over my heart. I know, I found that exciting too. No routine tumor for me. A biopsy was scheduled for the next day. After a second biopsy, PET-Scan and more doctor visits it was determined that I have Stage 3A lung cancer. So yesterday I was "mapped" for radiation therapy, which will be performed in conjunction with chemo therapy. I know...pretty exciting stuff. I will be receiving this treatment, radiation five days a week and chemo one day a week, for the next six weeks at the Simon Cancer Center affiliated with IU Hospital. My Oncologist and Radiation Doctor (don't remember what kind of doctor he is) are fantastic as well as all the technicians and support staff involved with my treatment. Now a few thoughts on this situation. First, I am honestly looking forward to losing my hair. I think I can pull off the Telly Savalas look with great aplomb. Who loves ya baby? Second, I am very optimistic as my prognosis is pretty good. Even though the 5 year survival rate is posted at 23% (admit it, you already googled it and thought wow he's toast) the mitigating factors in my case are strong. I am relatively young, in decent health (well you know what I mean!!) and extremely good looking. All the things essential to thwarting the dirty and dreaded "c". Third, and most importantly, I have a whole bunch of people to help me through my serious affliction. Not the least of which is my lovely bride of 30 years (which is why I'm not afraid of dying. You can take that any way you want.) who has been my rock through this. She has been at my side every step of the way (putting up with all my c jokes) and I would truly be lost without her. I mean that literally because the Simon Center is in Indy and she gives me the directions!!! My children are supportive in their own special way. Alicia has turned her sardonic humor loose on cancer and Wil can't wait to see me without hair. My customers have all been very understanding (cancer is the best get out of work card ever!!!!) and I should be able to resume all work after my treatment. I will be doing Journal Posts as I wind my way through this special journey that I have been given. My faith is strong, my will is unflappable and I intend to get to the other side of this (whatever that is) in good spirits and with horrible jokes. Life is a gift and everything happens for a reason. I don't spend time wondering why this is happening to me. I just know it was meant to be and I cherish every moment of every day (especially when I get to nap!!).